Relative age dating diagrams

Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age (i.e. In geology, rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another.

The regular order of the occurrence of fossils in rock layers was discovered around 1800 by William Smith.

With this in mind geologist have long known that the deeper a sedimentary rock layer is the older it is, but how old?Methods for relative dating were developed when geology first emerged as a natural science in the 18th century.Geologists still use the following principles today as a means to provide information about geologic history and the timing of geologic events.As he continued his job as a surveyor, he found the same patterns across England.He also found that certain animals were in only certain layers and that they were in the same layers all across England.

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